Training clinicians to help mothers and babies in Africa

European funding has enabled researchers at the University of Warwick's Warwick Medical School to develop education and training for nurses and midwives in isolated parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

Mother and child

Most African women face childbirth without access to skilled health workers when obstetric and neonatal emergencies arise. Providing and retaining skilled health workers is vital to attempts to save the 600,000 women and 7 million babies who die annually in Africa.

African, European and global partners were brought together to develop both the clinical skills and leadership qualities of nurses and midwives working in Tanzania and Malawi, with the aim of reducing maternal and infant morbidity and mortality. The project improved the training available for non-physician clinicians who work with mothers and babies in rural and urban areas of Africa where few doctors are available.

The strength of the project lies in its collaboration between African and European partners, enabling methods of training found to work in Europe to be tailored to the local needs of healthcare professionals and patients in Africa. It is hoped that ultimately the training will be integrated into the healthcare systems of the partner countries, through collaboration with local and national governments, and that this will help to reduce the loss of mothers and babies in Africa.

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